Electrical Safety Campaign Reminds Consumers that Lightning is an Underrated and Often Forgotten Hazard
May 11, 2012
When purchasing expensive home electronics how often do you consider the risk of lightning damage? Lightning likes technology, too. As our world becomes more and more tech-savvy, the losses from lightning strikes are increasing. Sensitive home electronics are often susceptible to damage by lightning, as a single bolt of lightning can cause electrical surges capable of damaging or destroying vulnerable electric equipment. Luckily, there are steps consumers can take to prepare their homes and protect their electronics against this unpredictable, yet common hazard. Since May is National Electrical Safety Month, the Lightning Protection Institute is reminding homeowners about the dangers of lightning, an underrated and often forgotten electrical hazard.
“When consumers purchase expensive electronics, lightning danger probably doesn’t even cross their minds,” said ESFI president Brett Brenner. “In reality, a single bolt of lightning can cause electrical surges capable of damaging or destroying sensitive equipment. Luckily, there are steps you can take to prepare your home and protect your electronics from this unpredictable, yet common hazard.”
Today’s homes and businesses have more electronic equipment than ever before, and metal building components are on the rise as well. Internal systems lead lightning toward more valuable, often irreplaceable items and unfortunately people are often put in close proximity with those systems.
A lightning protection system is the best way to dissipate the dangerous electrical discharge to eliminate damage to a structure. The system provides a network of low-resistance paths to safely intercept lightning’s dangerous electricity and direct it to ground without impact to the structure or its occupants. When lightning’s electricity is confined to a properly designed conductive path via the lightning protection system, damage is minimized or eliminated. When considering lightning protection, the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) emphasizes the importance of contracting with a qualified and experienced LPI-certified specialist.
“LPI-certified specialists are trained to install systems in accordance with nationally recognized safety standards of LPI, NFPA and UL,” explained Bud VanSickle, executive director at LPI. “Quality control is paramount and installation is not a do-it-yourself project. Improper installation can lead to serious consequences, and in severe cses may be worse than not having protection at all.”
The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) sponsors National Electrical Safety Month each May to increase public awareness of the electrical hazards around us at home, work, school and play. ESFI is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety. For more information about ESFI and electrical safety, visit www.electrical-safety.org.